Born in 1829, John Fisk was one of the pioneers to arrive in San Francisco for the gold rush in 1849, going around Cape Horn — a six months' passage. He returned in 1850 and started again from Wilmington, sixty miles west of Chicago, Ill., with a train of three wagons, across the great plains — a six months' journey. He returned in 1855 and settled in Billerica to cranberry farming on his place which he was named Elmore, from the fact that a group of four large American elms overshadow a beautiful lawn. The home was purchased from money he had made from the gold he had mined in California. He kept this journal during his adventures and died in Billerica in 1905.